Laugh with us, cry with us, and learn about AUTISM!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

5 Fundamental, Yet Accidental Ways This Parental Unit Became Less Judgmental!

I had different thoughts back then...

Kevin and I laugh.  A lot.  It's either laugh or cry, right?  So I present to you five things I've learnt to laugh about thanks to autism.  You'll see, I used to be a judgmental, irrational and critical specimen   I aim to change the worlds judgmentalness (is that even a word?) one person at a time!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

An Update on Josie's Speech - Echolalia

Josie's speech has improved dramatically!  Her speech has improved more than her communication, but that has come a long way as well.  Her vocabulary is the same or maybe even better than your average 2.5 year old.  However, she doesn't use that vocabulary to make meaningful phrases, or communicating sentences.  Her sentences and phrases come from TV or the tablet and are just repetition, not communicating anything expressive.  We have entered the phase of echolalia.  

Monday, 22 April 2013

How I Solved The Lunchtime Dilemma

What time is it?  It's time for lunch!  Maybe.
I was sick and tired of throwing out perfectly good food.  I only ever served foods that I knew she liked, but that didn't matter.  When Josie decides she isn't going to eat something, she isn't going to eat it.  She will starve herself rather than eat something she doesn't want to, even if it is a food she likes.  


I was tied to her whims each day.  Serving up lunch, then 90% of the time throwing out at least half of it.  Wasting perfectly good food (and money!) every single day...  Don't forget she can't tell me what she wants!

Until I got an idea.  A simple idea that took way too long to occur to me.  Enter....  the lunch platter!

Every two or three days (or as needed) I make up a big old platter.  At least two kinds of veggies, two kinds of fruit, two kinds of meat and two kinds of cheese.  I chop it all up, fill up a serving platter, wrap it up and put it in the fridge.  I put a few kinds of crackers into a bowl, wrap it up and leave it on the counter.  Come lunch time I unwrap it all, plop it on the table and let her eat what she wants.  Then I wrap it back up and return it to the fridge.

She eats what she wants each day, and I'm not throwing things out.  Every few days what's left goes in Kev's lunch, and I start all over.  Josie gets to eat according to her whims of the day without frustrating me!

Examples of what I put on the platter:
Carrot sticks
Cucumber slices
Broccoli florets
Pepper slices
Apple slices
Pear slices
Orange segments

The possibilities are endless...  This makes my life easier!  

Suggestions?  Drop me a comment!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Vitamins, Supplements and Probiotics - Oh My!

We started taking a bit of a biomedical approach with Josie in late January.  For our family, this has involved a number of vitamins, supplements and digestive aids, as well as diet changes and lifestyle changes.  We are very impressed with the results of this approach, and so proud of Josie's improvements since we started!  I will remind you that:  1)  I am not a medical professional and 2)  What works for one child may not work for another.

Monday, 15 April 2013

An Easter With Autism...

Easter - what kid doesn't love Easter!  Josie loved it last year, and it made sense.  She loves collecting things and arranging them "just so".  We were super excited for Easter, especially since Christmas wasn't too big of a hit with her.  

Saturday, 13 April 2013

When Your Child With Autism Is Sick...

Having a sick child sucks.  Watching your little one suffer, act completely different than usual, and not being able to help is heartbreaking.  Couple all of that with Autism and a whole new level of stress and worry is reached.

Friday, 12 April 2013

For Comparison - A Crummy Morning at the Kuhnle Home

Previously I posted a little bit of our normal morning routine, complete with timeline. (Read it if you haven't already!)  Well, last Sunday morning was a crummy morning in our home, and I thought I should show you a bad start to the day, which generally leads to a bad day in general.

Welcome to a crummy morning in our household, a morning I wish hadn't happened!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A Morning at the Kuhnle Home

Life with autism equals life structured.  (At least for us!)  Every morning is exactly the same.  There can be no changes, and Josie lets you know if you do something wrong.

So, I welcome you to a morning at the Kuhnle home!  Here is what the first couple hours of every single day look like:

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sofia's Story - Part Three, The Assessment

Yesterday morning we bundled up Sofia and went out for her assessment.  I was so nervous I felt like I could puke at any moment.  That was when I realized that I knew something was wrong, even through the veil of hope and denial I had created.

Sofia's Story - Part Two, 12-14 Months

In a relatively short amount of time things changed.  We went from our mild worrying about Sofia (because of what happened with Josie,) to actually being concerned.  As I sit here and look back, the signs were quite obvious...  but of course, I mistakenly convinced myself we were just being paranoid.  I tend to think that all parents who have a child with autism worry about the others...

Sofia's Story - Part One, Birth to 1 Year

My little Miss Sofia was born on February 15, 2012.  She was kind enough to wait until after Valentine's Day!  She wasn't due until the end of the month, but I can't say I was surprised when she came!  Labour was intense but very short, and she was a perfect little girl!  She took to nursing immediately, which was a nice change from Josie.  We had an uneventful hospital stay, and were happy to be back home.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Josie's EEG at CHEO - Exactly What Happens During an EEG?

On April 3rd we took Josie to CHEO for an EEG.  I posted about the experience last week.  (If you haven't read it, check it out here!)  It has been brought to my attention that there was interest in knowing more about the trip, specifically about what the EEG involved.  It wasn't too long of a process, the steps were easy enough to remember!  So here is what happens when you take your child to CHEO for an EEG.  (Or at least what happened for us!)

Are Electronics Bad For Kids? Maybe, But Don't Judge Other Parents!

Today, courtesy of a Facebook friend, I read an article called "Julia Steiny: The Jury’s In, Screen Time Hurts Little Kids."  You can read it here.  This article talks about what we all probably know already; that kids spend entirely too much time in front of the TV and using electronics.  I believe this, trust me I do.  This article struck me however as being a little too judgmental.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Our Visit to CHEO for an EEG

On Wednesday we had to take Josie to CHEO for a scheduled EEG.  Nothing serious - the doctors just want to make sure she isn't having absent seizures when she does her "staring off into space" thing.  I spent the week before this appointment worrying and worrying and worrying...  I was so concerned about how we were going to manage to get this test done.  I mean, I'm sure it's hard enough with an neurotypical two year old...  throw autism into the mix and I just didn't see how it could be done!

I've written a companion post outling exactly what happens during an EEG.  You can find that here.

Friday, 5 April 2013

The Signs and Symptoms of Autism

In the theme of continuing awareness, today I want to talk about the signs of autism.  I want everybody to know what to look for and what the warning signs are.  Here are some of the key signs to look for, and a list of some of the more subtle signs.  There are way more factors than what I list, but it's a start!  There are resources listed at the bottom for more in-depth details.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Being An Autism Mom

This image was posted to my Facebook yesterday, along with the message  "I saw this and thought of you! XO RK."  You can find the creators blog here, and her post about the image here.  I liked this picture so much that I wanted to talk about it, but first I wanted to talk about the man who posted it to me...  my brother-in-law.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Since When Is Awareness A Bad Thing?

Yesterday I did my best to spread awareness about autism.  If I'm your friend on Facebook you probably noticed this. (Or had no choice but to notice because I spammed your newsfeed with posts and pictures.  I apologize for not being in the least bit sorry! )  Autism is now very near and dear to our family, and I want everybody to be aware.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Autism Awareness Day 2013

Today Autism Awareness Day, and I've never been so aware of autism as I am on this beautiful spring day.

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